Friday, September 28, 2012

Flashback Friday: I'm Still At It

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Happy Friday! I  hope you enjoyed yesterday's Guest post about joyful things to do in London.  Another guest post and info about a new Chasing Joy series is coming your way on Monday.  Why so many guest posts, you ask.  Because right now I am in Las Vegas soaking up knowledge at the Blogalicious 12 blog conference. :-)

Now,  the reason you are all here today, Flashback Friday!!!  This Friday's Flashback, I'm Still At It, was about me getting better at focusing on the positive despite life's curve balls.  This is a great post to read in preparation for our October Challenge (stay tuned for details).

If this is your first Flashback here is the deal. Flashback Friday is a great way to re-discover our earlier works and discover some new blogs. Flashback Friday is where we Flashback to our older blog posts and give them new life through the power of the linky! Just pick out your link and add it below. You can also post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page. Use hashtags #FBF or #FlashbackFriday on twitter to advertise your Flashback post.

You can pick out any post you want for the linky. It does not have to be related to the topic of my link. The choice is yours :-)

Add your link below and be sure to check out AT LEAST TWO other Flashback posts. I suggest the two listed before your post to make it easy. Please leave a comment saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought about the other Flashback posts. I'm looking forward to reading all of your Flashbacks.

*Don't forget to grab the I am Chasing Joy and Flashback Friday buttons!

**Also invite some of your blogging buddies to join the Linky too!

***Oh, and DON'T FORGET TO VOTE FOR ME for a Black Weblog Award!!***

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Top Ten Ways to Chase Joy in London

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Gone Fishing!!!!  Well not really but sort of.  I am on vacation from my day job.  I will be spending the next few days in Las Vegas.  Contrary to what the commercials say, what happens in Vegas will not be staying in Vegas this time.  Why? Because I will be attending Blogalicious 2012, and you know I will be writing a post or a series of post to fill  you in on all that I learn about blogging.  If you don't believe me check out the series I wrote last year after Blogalicious 11.  I will also be spending some time living it up with a couple of girlfriends, hitting the strip, gambling, and doing whatever else tickles our fancies.  Unfortunately for you, the traditional What Happens in Vegas stays in Vegas rule will apply to those activities :-)

In the mean time I have not left you stranded.  Today, please enjoy a guest post from Amanda Rodrigues of Show and Stay.  If the resent Olympic Games did not make you want to go across the Pond to London her guest post certainly will.

Top Ten Ways to Chase Joy in London

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/criminalintent/3867913283/


The capital is known for its congestion and tourism, but we've found a few things to smile about among the hustle and bustle. Sometimes it's the simple things in life that bring the most joy — Show and Stay takes a look at some of the capital's little rays of sunshine to bring a little joy to your day!  
  1. Second Hand Shopping - Retail therapy is a great way to chase joy in the capital, and nothing makes you smile like finding a bargain! London has a wealth of excellent vintage stores and thrift shopping options where you can find cheap, unique and pre-loved items to liven up your wardrobe. Brick Lane, Portobello Road, Covent Garden, Shoreditch and Camden are all rich in retro boutiques, or head to a vintage fair like Alfie's Antique Market in Bermondsey.
  2. Take in a London Show - There's plenty of joy to be found in the glitzy West End, where there's a London show for every taste, whether you're a lover of colourful musicals or heavyweight plays. Jazz up your London break with a visit to Theatreland and bring some added joy to any visit to the capital. From the heartwarming smash-hit Shrek the Musical to the cheery and uplifting Matilda, there are so many lively productions to choose from, the hardest part will be picking which one to see!
  3. A Walk in the Park - Brighten up your day with a brisk walk or a leisurely stroll through one of London's many green areas. Explore the huge and sprawling Royal Parks — spot free-roaming deer in Richmond Park, pelicans in St James's Park or enjoy the far-stretching views of the Thames in Greenwich — or head to one of the many commons or heaths across the capital for a slice of tranquility in this busy city.
  4. Discover some Street Art - Seeking out some of London's hidden art is bound to bring a little joy to an otherwise dull day. Street art tours run three days a week in Shoreditch and Brick Lane, taking in some of the capital's freshest and most exceptional street pieces. It's a wonderful way of acquainting yourself with the urban landscape and the street art scene, as well as discovering parts of London you wouldn't ordinarily see.
  5. Rediscover your Inner Child - Taking a trip down memory lane is a great way to chase joy in the capital, and there's no better place to do this than the V&A Museum of Childhood. Home to a huge collection of children's paraphernalia, from hand-crafted rocking horses to Meccano building kits and puzzles to puppets, you're sure to recognise something from your own early years that will make you smile.
  6. Tea and Cake - It really is the simple pleasures that bring the most joy, and it doesn't get much simpler than this. Whether it's a fancy afternoon tea at the Ritz complete with cucumber sandwiches and a glass of bubbly, or pastries at your local patisserie, or even a cup of builders and a slab of Victoria sponge in the corner cafe, there are very few things that tea and cake can't solve!
  7. Make Something - Drink, Shop & Do is a cafe on the Caledonian Road; a little haven of joy in an otherwise rather seedy area near King's Cross. Here you can enjoy a refreshing cocktail, afternoon tea or a glass of wine while learning a new skill, such as Playing with Clay 80s Style, Robot Lego, Vintage Hair and Make-up, or Rude Scrabble. Great on your own or with friends, this kitsch cafe is packed full of craftsy charm, which is certain to instill a little happiness.
  8. Have a Sing-Song - Nothing says 'joy' like belting out your favourite tune at the top of your voice, and the capital has tons of places to burst into song. Whether it's a Cockney Sing-Song at the Brick Lane Music Hall, a solo in a Japanese-style karaoke lounge or a bit of KaraUke (karaoke accompanied by a ukelele band), you'll find plenty of ways to unleash your inner diva in the capital.
  9. Cuddle a Piglet or Little Lamb - Feeling glum? Baby animals are bound to bring a smile to your face, and London's city farms are the perfect place for you to hug a cute and cuddly creature. Escape the urban jungle by visiting a rural retreat in the heart of the city. From geese to goats and wallabies to alpacas, there are all sorts of animals to meet and greet. Some city farms like Deen City and Freightliners are even free to enter!
  10. Here is a picture of Tree Abseiling, from sciencephoto.com
    in case you were like me, and did not know what it was.
    Climb a Tree Relive those carefree childhood days by partaking in one of the UK's fastest-growing adventure pursuits. The Big Tree Climbing Company offers experiences at Highgate Woods, where you can get back to nature in the most thrilling way possible. You'll get training before your climb and then you'll abseil down again for an added rush.
These suggestions were written by Show and Stay, the providers of weekend theatre breaks in London. Show and Stay provide hotel and theatre packages for the West End's best musicals, plays and London attractions. Show and Stay has rooms from a selection of hand picked hotels, which are conveniently located. Check out the Show and Stay blog   Stay connected with Show and Stay on twitter @showandstay and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/showandstay.

Have you participated in any of these activities in London?  Which of these activities would bring Joy to your city?




Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

Vote for me :-)

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BWA Nominee 225 BlueYour's truly, Moi, has been nominated for a Black Weblog award.  Ok, I nominated myself but hey if you wouldn't vote for yourself they why would anybody else.  So I voted for myself and now it is your turn to vote for me for best personal blog. I hope you are all ready to click on my name but in case you are thinking "Why should I vote for her" here are 12 reasons why I deserve your vote :-)

  1. I keep it real.  I try to be very genuine and honest on the blog.  In my hypnosis for weight loss series I talk all about my struggles with my weight and the mental road blocks in the way of my healthy lifestyle.  I've also been open about how I sometimes feel lonely and my desires to meet Mr. Joy Chaser.
  2. I show up.  When Joy Chasers invite me to their events I try to be there.  That's how I got to go to the kick off for Philly's 17 days of fashion and to meet the documentary film maker who's been traveling the country living off of American Made products
  3. I am a connector. I connect bloggers with each other and new readers with the weekly #FlashbackFriday Linky. 
  4. I give you stuff.  While this blog is not the go to spot for product reviews and giveaways every now and then a lucky Joy Chaser will get some goodies.  Sometimes unexpectedly and sometimes with lots of notice like the Free Candle Giveaway that's going on now.
  5. I believe in giving back.  Last year I encouraged readers to collectively commit 100 Acts of Joy by giving of time or money during the Holiday season.  Right now I am preparing the 1st Chasing Joy Charity Event supporting women transitioning from welfare to work.
  6. I give you your props. Every Wednesday on the Chasing Joy Facebook and Twitter pages you will find us Joy Chasers shouting out each other for our accomplishments for #WaytogoWednesday!
  7. I try new things.  I am learning to embrace new experience to find the Joy in them.  Sometimes it is a good experience like when I became a ballerina.  Sometimes it's not so good of an experience like when I failed to find my peace in Meditation.
  8. I share the knowledge.  Almost everything I have learned about blogging can be found on this blog.  I take a many notes as possible at conferences and blogger meet up so that I can share with any readers who wanted to be their but couldn't.  My Blogalicious, Blogging While Brown, and Bloggy Boot Camp recaps offer so many resources.
  9. I value friendships.  I am a Girlfriend Guru for Girlfriendology where I offer my take on how to be a good girlfriend when helping your friends celebrate their important moments or helping them set important goals.
  10. I keep it positive.  While I certainly feel there is a time and place for venting feelings of frustration, I do keep the overall vibe of Chasing Joy positive by focusing on accomplishing goals with #MakeitHappenMonday and encouraging gratitude with #ThankfulThursday.
  11. I make you smile.  I  know you can't help but to smile when I post pictures of my furry friends
  12. Last but not least Vote for me for best personal blog because you can relate to my quest for Joy and enjoy reading my post.
Now After you vote for me feel free to vote for my bloggy friend Your Chic is Showing who has also been nominated for a Black Weblog Award.

VOTE NOW because the 1st rounds of voting ends on October 1st.

So why did you Vote for Chasing Joy?  What draws you to Chase Joy with me?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Flashback Friday: Time For Joy

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Happy Friday! I am excited because I am now less than a week away from my vacation from work and trip to Las Vegas to party with friends and attend the blog conference Blogalicious.

I'm sure this week coming will at times feel like it is both flying as I try to get things done before the trip, and dragging as I anxiously await all the fun that lies ahead. This Friday's Flashback, Time for Joy, is a reminder that regardless of my feelings time passes at the same rate so it is up to me to use it wisely.

If this is your first Flashback here is the deal. Flashback Friday is a great way to re-discover our earlier works and discover some new blogs. Flashback Friday is where we Flashback to our older blog posts and give them new life through the power of the linky! Just pick out your link and add it below. You can also post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page. Use hashtags #FBF or #FlashbackFriday on twitter to advertise your Flashback post.

You can pick out any post you want for the linky. It does not have to be related to the topic of my link. The choice is yours :-)

 Add your link below and be sure to check out AT LEAST TWO other Flashback posts. I suggest the two listed before your post to make it easy. Please leave a comment saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought about the other Flashback posts. I'm looking forward to reading all of your Flashbacks.

*Don't forget to grab the I am Chasing Joy and Flashback Friday buttons!
**Also invite some of your blogging buddies to join the Linky too!
***Oh, and DON'T FORGET TO VOTE FOR ME for a Black Weblog Award!!***

Monday, September 17, 2012

Catalyst for Joy Candle Giveaway!!!

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Birthdays, bubble baths, romantic dinners, and black outs, what do these activities have in common? I’ll give you a few minutes to guess……….


Figure it out yet? Ok you give up?

CANDLES!!!
Did you ever realize how many different ways they are used? I did not even throw in air freshener.

Candles are special. They are Joy catalysts. They are the little touch that take ordinary experiences and make them Joyful. Candles turn cake into Birthday cake and dinner into romance. Without candles bubble baths are not as serene and we are all in the dark during emergencies. Did you ever think about how such an insignificant thing, like a candle can make so many other moments significant? This is precisely how it is with Joy. We all think it is the big things that make us happy or joyful. But really it is the combination of all the little Joy catalysts that make our normal days extraordinary and our normal moments significant.

What little things act as Joy catalyst in your life?

While you are thinking about that let me tell you about your chance to get some joy catalysts of your own. Two of you Joy Chasers can win a candle from Gourmet Scent Shop. I have been using my very own Gourmet Scent Shop Candle as a little Joy catalyst of my own. If you have been reading this blog for a while or following via Facebook or twitter than you may have gathered that housekeeping is not my strong point. Well even with my lack of housekeeping prowess, two cats, and a dog I have lit my Japanese Pear candle and experienced a fragrant oasis.

Here is what you have to do to get your own candle:


a Rafflecopter giveaway PS. Special Shout out to Gourmet Scent Shop for being a Joy of Giving Sponsor. If you don’t win your candle during the giveaway maybe you can win one at the event on October 27th.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Flashback Friday: The Joy of Hurt

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Happy Friday!!!

This Friday's Flashback, The Joy of Hurt, is about one of my favorite furry fellas, my dog Hurt.  He is really an awesome dog.  Full of personality and super sweet. Almost two years ago I found out he had cancer.  Since then he has had surgery and is now doing great.  I know this is because of my and your prayers.  My Flashback was a prayer request on behalf of Hurt and a reminder that prayer does work!  Thanks to all who prayed and I ask that you continue to pray for my furry family (Peanut, Hurt, and Pinto).

Flashback Friday is a great way to rediscover our earlier works and discover some new blogs. If this is your first Flashback here is the deal. Flashback Friday is where we Flashback to our older blog posts and give them new life through the power of the linky! Just pick out your link and add it below. You can also post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page. Use hashtags #FBF or #FlashbackFriday on twitter to advertise your Flashback post.

Add your link below and be sure to check out AT LEAST TWO other Flashback posts. I suggest the two listed before your post to make it easy. Please leave a comment saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought about the other Flashback posts. I'm looking forward to reading all of your Flashbacks.

*Don't forget to grab the I am Chasing Joy and Flashback Friday buttons!
**Also invite some of your blogging buddies to join the Linky too!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's Not Too Late!!!

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If you have been reading here for a while then I’m sure you know all about the Joy of Giving, Chasing Joy event. If you are new to the blog then you should know that the event is a clothing drive collecting plus sized women’s clothing for women transitioning from welfare to work. The event will include refreshments, shopping, mingling, and lots of free door prizes. The event is free but cost of admission is your donation to the clothing drive. Read all about it in my post about the event.
The date for the event October 27th is fast approaching. Check out the counter at the top right of the page. We have some awesome vendors who will be giving away door prizes and providing us with some yummy sweets. Check them all out, listed as sponsors on the right sidebar. But it is not too late for you to get involved. A few things are still needed and you don’t have to have any products or services to donate to help out.

If you are a blogger and want to be added to the list of sponsors your help is needed. We need some bottled water or other refreshing drinks to wash down our Pastry Diva cake shots and Bredenbecks cookies during the event. Also some napkins and cups would be nice too :-) These are essential to make the Joy of Giving Event a success. A small donation of a $10 convenience store gift card would go a long way towards covering these essentials.

If you, like me, believe there is great Joy in giving then it’s not too late for you to help with the event. Spread the word about the event by sharing this post and joining the Facebook event and inviting your friends to Join. On twitter use the hashtag #JoyofGiving to tweet about the event. Consider becoming a sponsor. Read here for sponsor benefits and then email me at joychasing@yahoo.com. And of course, COME TO THE EVENT!!! The event will not be a success if you do not come to Bellanor Boutique on October 27th. Cost of admission is your donation of an article of plus sized women’s clothing or an accessory. Register on Event Bright.

How are you getting involved in the Joy of Giving, Chasing Joy Event???

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Joyful Bridesmaid

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This past weekend I had the honor of being a bridesmaid in my friends wedding.  The ceremony was beautiful and the Bride said everything was how she wanted it.  Here are a few pictures.  Then head over to Girlfriendology.com and check out my post 10 Tips for a Joyful Bridesmaid Exprience






Now quick, head over to my Girlfriendology Post!!! 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Flashback Friday: Training For Joy

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Happy Friday!!!  I have nothing that I have to do this weekend and it is great :-)

This Friday's Flashback, Training For Joy, is about how important it is to treat my self right, treat my body as my temple, and build a healthy foundation to support my quest for Joy. This is right on time as I have been focusing more in the last few weeks to lose weight by exercising more and journaling my food.

Flashback Friday is a great way to rediscover our earlier works and discover some new blogs. If this is your first Flashback here is the deal. Flashback Friday is where we Flashback to our older blog posts and give them new life through the power of the linky! Just pick out your link and add it below. You can also post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page. Use hashtags #FBF or #FlashbackFriday on twitter to advertise your Flashback post.

Add your link below and be sure to check out AT LEAST TWO other Flashback posts. I suggest the two listed before your post to make it easy. Please leave a comment saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought about the other Flashback posts. I'm looking forward to reading all of your Flashbacks.

*Don't forget to grab the I am Chasing Joy and Flashback Friday buttons!

**Also invite some of your blogging buddies to join the Linky too!

***Make sure you register for The Joy of Giving, Chasing Joy Event here-->> Registration!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chasing Joy Chat Recap

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This past Sunday we had our monthly Chasing Joy Twitter Chat. The topic was transitioning into the Fall. This month I made our chat a little more fun by offering a giveaway. I still had a few things from my Blogalicious 11 swag bag so I decided to share. The winner was randomly selected using random.org from those who participated, tweeting using the #ChasingJoy hashtag. Our winner was Mental Mosaic. You can find out more about her on her site.  She will be receiving a Aunt Jemima thermal grocery bay, Aunt Jemima apron, Aunt Jemima thumb drive, and Aunt Jemima recipe cards along with coupons for free Aunt Jemima frozen goodies. Isn’t she a lucky lady.

In case you missed it here are a some highlights from the chat.

 The purpose of the chat is to get to know each other better and bond over the themes of Optimism, Gratitude, and Happiness.

Question: How happy are you at this time in your life?
 Responses:
Trying very hard to be happy these days, but not always succeeding. Hard year. 
Keep trying, Hard years happen to us all. The tied will inevitable turn
 Well Stick around hunni...we will sure to pick ya spirits up! I'm following you now!
Question: Are you looking forward to the fall or sad to see the summer go?
Responses:
I'm looking fwd to some cooler temps. I melt here in TX! Plus, I love that "back to school" feeling
Sad to see summer go, but not sad to cool off a little. I do love pumpkin season!!
Question: Is there anything you wanted to do this summer that you didn’t have a chance to do?
Responses:
Go on vacation! I didn’t do any of that this year with my job being unstable!
I really wanted to go swimming...never made it and the pool is closed
Sadly I never made it to the beach this year. I'm still hoping to go before it is to cold
Questions: What feelings do you associate with the fall?
Responses:
Real calm....I love that feeling!
It's funny you mention calm. I am good at looking calm. But often I am panicking in my head. SMH
Oh Nooooo! I am calm most of the time. Its best to take a moment and take a dp breath and regroup!
Yes! I do a lot of deep breathing
Yes that is a must...water and teas make me calm as well
For me, fall is all about comfort. Smells, tastes, colors, all comforting
Happiness. I love fall. Maybe because I love the colors, the cool weather or maybe its because my birthday is in the fall lol
I think of the fall as a time of new beginnings and starting over. I think it is a reminder of the back to school mindset.
The fall makes me think about "crocking". I am definitely in cooking mode!
All my 70's stuff looks better in the fall
Question: Do you change your habits along with the seasons?
Responses:
I go outside more in the fall but not a lot more
I miss buying back to school supplies
I still buy 'em - school or no!
I still by some for work
We try to eat seasonally, so cooking habits do change with the seasons.
I love all the foods from fall squash, corn, tomatoes, etc
I recently learned a little about seasonal eating
What did you learn?
Seasonal eating is fascinating! Nature is pretty cool ;)
I learned that foods have cooling and thermal properties that help us with body temperature when we eat in season
That's cool or hot lol
I think my eating habits change the most in the fall more soups, more cooking, and less salads and cold foods
I love sweaters and I am always excited when I can start wearing them again
Question: What are you hoping to do or accomplish this fall?
Response:
I want to release my ebook & music CD this fall & organize my closet, too. It's a mess!
loss 10 lbs and get pregnant
New Job and volunteering
I have a very definite project list for fall! Also, lots of exercise
I have a new venture that I want to get off the ground this fall, and I want to get more organized
I want to have my charity event be a success this fall. and to start working more on my book
I want to change my blog design and write more. More laughs! Yay
Question: Does the fewer hours of day light effect your mood? If it does, what do you do to stay upbeat and energetic during the shorter hours of day light?
Responses:
VERY much so
yes but not until the middle of Feb. I usually go shopping but this year I am going to try exercise
Not really....the time switch never messes with me
The time change definitely affects my mood. I try to shift my schedule to have better energy in the fall.
Yes! Leaving work in darkness makes me sad. Just got an office with a window, so things will be different now! :) I think being intentional about going outdoors at least once during the day can help.
The shorter days do effect my mood in a bad way. I feel more tired and am prone to feel down more often. I try to make sure I get enough sunlight by walking during lunch outside
Question: What is your favorite meal to cook or have in the fall?
Responses:
Anything in a slow cooker...I want to try to make a chili this fall!
Crock pot stew with lots of root veggies!
I love to eat Chili in the fall. Yummy and comforting
White chicken chili...I make it every year after the first snow..which in Utah could be tomorrow or not until December
I have been looking forward to making vegetable soup and chicken and barely soup
So those were the high lights of the Chasing Joy Twitter Chat.   There was also discussion on hair styling in the fall vs. the summer. Recipes and links were shared. You can join in the chat on the first Sunday of every month. The next #ChasingJoy chat will be Sunday October 7th. At 4:00pm EST #ChasingJoy

But until then, feel free to keep the conversation going and answer any of the questions above.  What are you hoping to accomplish this fall? Do you change your habits in the fall?  What food are you excited to have or make this fall?


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